Sport

American invincibles win third successive women's world basketball title

The United States women's basketball team, who have not lost an international match for more than 12 years, swept to a third successive world title on Sunday with a 73-56 victory over Australia.

Invincible: The USA celebrate victory over Australia in the final
Invincible: The USA celebrate victory over Australia in the final (AFP)

The United States women's basketball team, who have not lost an international match for more than 12 years, swept to a third successive world title on Sunday with a 73-56 victory over Australia.

The six-time Olympic champions also took their winning streak to 51 matches.

In the match for third place, European champions Spain defeated Belgium 67-60.

The Americans, with coach Dawn Staley at the helm for the first time, have now won the world championship 10 times in 18 editions.

Sunday's final was billed as a clash between two players both of whom tower over two metres -- Brittney Griner of the US (2.06m) and Australian star Liz Cambage (2.03m).

It was Griner's night as Cambage, who had scored 33 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the semi-final win against Spain on Saturday, saw her threat neutralised by the Americans' impressive defence which allowed her only seven points.

"A lot of people see that we've won a lot of games in a row now and gold medals but it's not as easy as it looks," said 37-year-old US star Sue Bird.

"We take a lot of pride in the way we play and a lot of credit goes to the other countries because if they continue to get better they will just continue to push us to get better and that's what it's all about."